Artwork for podcast GREEN Organic Garden Podcast
333. Solar Energy | Electric Cars | Geothermal Heating | Awesome EarthKind Podcast | Host Ron Kamen
16th August 2020 • GREEN Organic Garden Podcast • Jackie Marie Beyer
00:00:00 01:14:39

Share Episode


Listen to the Awesome Earth Kind Podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast app.



My Garden Journal

Welcome to the GREEN Organic Garden Podcast. It is Saturday, July 18, 2020. And I have an awesome guest here.

He's not a gardener, but I think you're going to love his message and he has a new podcast. And if you heard my rant yesterday, you know, I'm like doubling down on podcasting and I'm just showing the connecting with other podcasters.

And I feel like if you're a listener, you're probably interested in connecting with other podcasters and learning about other great new shows. So here to talk to us today is Ron Kamen from the Awesome EarthKind Podcast. Welcome to the show, Ron.

It's great to be here, Jackie. Thanks so much.

All right. Well tell us about you and your new show and whatever you want to tell us.

Well, thank you so much. It's a little different from your normal shows. I've, I've had the pleasure of listening to a couple of them and you know, your folks are really involved in the interconnectedness of life and in particular in growing and the abundance that naturally surrounds us when we are in tune with nature. And it's great and it's wonderful and it's, it's so fantastic!

As a civilization, you know, we've kind of gotten away from a lot of different things. And one of the things that my career and my, my, my whole life work has been focused on is energy. And the reason for that is because we need energy to survive as a civilization, it powers everything we do.

Energy powers everything we do.

It's powering this podcast.

It's powering the devices that people are listening to. It's our computers, it's our cars, it's our heating systems. It's our air conditioning systems. It's basically everything that's involved with. Civilization is really centered on energy. And most of that energy today comes from fossil fuels.

And those fossil fuels, as we know, are now saturating our environment to the point where we're getting to the point where extreme weather events are happening because we've disrupted so many natural systems.

And the question is, okay, so we all know where we are, the 7 billion of us.

Do we want civilization to collapse and just go back to the land, which you know, is a possibility?

But I don't think that's a really good option for the vast majority of 7 billion people. There are a few that might survive, but who really wants to go through that and see 99% of people just, you know, not survive and we can't survive as a civilization unless we make the transition to clean energy.

And I've been involved in energy and the environment for boy over three decades, I've been lucky enough to have the opportunity to work with all sorts of people in all different forms, everything from communities to governments and businesses and nonprofits, and working with people on taking the next step to have clean energy and to make this transition that we have to make.

If we want to survive as a society, you know, we're all in the midst and still getting through this worldwide COVID phenomenon that was a wake up call! Right?

And then it was, it's a wake up call to all of us about how short and fragile our lives are, how interconnected our lives are. And everyone in the world for the past three, four months now has been recognizing that, "Oh my gosh, you know, life is short and how are we going to survive as a society?"

And all different people are handling it in different ways.

My hope is that we will recognize how interconnected we are with each other, how interconnected we are and where we're reaching the limits of the planet and that we take the next step.

And the good news about that next step is as we look at these extreme weather events and we see the incredible power of nature in the air with hurricanes or tornadoes and storms in the water with floods and droughts and all different aspects of things in the earth with both a whole host of range of all the things that you guys know what's happening with the earth, and then all the extreme things that are happening, can happen with the earth, with earthquakes and volcanoes and all that power.


Sun = Solar

And then that, that little ball in the sky that provides all the energy that keeps us alive here on this planet.

When you take a look at that air, water, earth and sun, that awesome power of nature that's around us.

And you look at on the one side, the destructive piece and how we've disrupted the balance of nature and all the things that are happening there. But then when you look and you realize that in that same power in those four forces of nature lies the answer and the key to our survival as a, as a civilization, as humanity, as everybody on earth.

And what we call is EarthKind .

And the great thing about earth kine, you and me and everybody on earth is that we humans have an incredible ability to adapt and evolve and innovate and conquer anything, any challenge that comes our way. So my real hope with all the things that are going on in society right now is that we recognize that, okay, we have to change. We can change. There is a way through this.

Let's find it myself as an individual, use another individual, our families, our friends, our communities, and as a planet, let's come together and make that transition. Because without that transition there, you know, we're looking at some very catastrophic consequences, but we can make the transition.

And the fascinating thing is, the good news is that the tech is that nature provides a thousand times more energy clean energy than we use!

A thousand times more energy than we use a thousand times more energy than we need. The better news is that our human capabilities, our technology has evolved to the point where we can capture that energy and channel it into purposes and use it to power our:

  • electricity system
  • heating systems
  • cooling systems
  • transportation systems

that power and that energy is there. And we can tap into it. That technology is there.

And the best news is that the prices have come down.

So when you take a look at any aspect of this at the electricity, at the heating and cooling on the building side, and you look at the transportation side in almost every instance, you can find a way to save money while you're doing it too.

And if you wind up taking it collectively, and we look at all three electricity, heating, cooling, and transportation, you could save a lot of money. And if we all do it, we can save tons of money.

So we can have a positive impact:

  • We can create a better future.
  • We can reduce environmental destruction,
  • we can deal with the climate issue and
  • we can have a better, more prosperous just economy
  • at the same time and save money as individuals.

So that's what Awesome EarthKind is about. It's a podcast. I've worked

with people for three decades in various different forms. I focus primarily over my career with again, colleges, schools, nonprofits, government entities, municipalities businesses of all different sizes and shapes.

And this COVID piece just made me realize that, you know, I have a message. I think I have something hope in life that I want to share with normal everyday folks. And as podcasts came along with, with our mutual friends at EO fire entrepreneurs on fire, and it just ignited me.

So that's why I'm here.

And we'll be launching on August 6th. And the reason for August six, by the way, for those that it kind of rings a bell in the back of your mind is August 6th, 75 years ago was when humanity really entered the atomic age and we wiped out a hundred thousand people in Hiroshima, Hiroshima.

It was when humanity really became a force of nature.

And that's the whole thing is that all of us collectively, we really are forces of nature. We are awesome. We have incredible power, both individually and collectively.

We are humanity is the fifth element and that's what earth kind strives to project. Awesome EarthKind lets us say, "Hey, let's take the power of the air, the water, the earth, the sun, those four forces of nature and when you combine that with you and me, we aren't awesome.

And that fifth element EarthKind , that earth combined energy. We can do anything and we can make this transition and we can ex enter the next stage of our evolution. And we have to, for our kids' sake and all future generations.

So I was like, why aren't we doing that? Is that where you're like talking to people that have these solutions, like these tech people that have the energy, or like, how are like, what can listeners do to help change that?

Yeah. Great. And that's exactly what the podcast is about.

So what we're doing is we're setting in place first interviews that we'll be releasing every Monday and Thursday interviews with people that are doing amazing things. And I'll tell you about that in a second.

And then the second piece that we're doing is also setting up a community.

So once a week on Saturdays, we'll be answering people's questions, the we'll be dealing with their situations. And everybody has a little different situation for their personal life, right? You know, you live in Montana. I live in New York. People live in all different places around the country, all different scenarios around the world.

Some of us, all of us have taken some steps, right? Some of us have bought energy, efficient, light bulbs, great thing, right? Because instead of wasting 90% of the energy to create light with an incandescent light bulb.

90% of that energy is actually wasted as heat.

So when you're touching an incandescent light bulb, you burn your hand. We've now made that transition to hopefully fluorescent or compact fluorescents are really the next stage, now today, our led light bulbs that lasts longer and that take most of the energy and use it to produce light as opposed to heat, which is why there's so much more efficient and they save money.

So we've taken all of us have taken different steps. When they drive a hybrid car, we may have done some things to get a more efficient oil burner. We may have a heat pump, and actually we'll talk about heat pumps in a bit, but there's a lot of different things that people can do that they don't quite know about.

So they don't understand what the opportunities are. They think a lot of times that it's too expensive for them to do it.

And what we're doing on those Saturday show is, are answering people's questions and just dealing with where they are and what they need and setting in place communities of support so that folks, wherever they are in this continuum from basic basic knowledge through, Hey, we've done everything except for a couple of things to be net zero in terms of energy consumption.

And for wholly powered by renewables. So there's this whole spectrum, and there's no judgment about where any individual is or where anybody is on the spectrum. We're all in different places.

We've all had our life experiences. We've all done what we could, but the idea behind Awesome EarthKind is to help everybody figure out, okay, this is where I am.

This is where I want to be. I want to be a hundred percent sustainable. I want to be a hundred percent renewable, but how do I do it?

How do I do it? Where on it I am because where I am is a little bit different from where the person somewhere else is. So the goal is to set in place a community that can answer questions and help people take their next steps.

So to give you some examples, right?

So you mentioned at one point Earth Day, right? I think on one of your shows and one of the interviews is with Dennis Hayes. Dennis Hayes was the original coordinator of Earth Day. And then he went on to found the Earth Day Network and Earth Day is, you know, most people have heard of Earth Day now.

And Earth Day is the largest secular celebration in the world. It's celebrated on a hundred and in 180 different countries, it has a worldwide mass movement of people who are concerned and want to do something about sustaining life on the planet.

And we have an interview with Dennis Hayes, where he talks about some of the things that he's learned and some of the lessons that he's gotten.

And on the extreme end of the spectrum, Dennis built for his nonprofit foundation in Seattle, a 52,000 square foot office building Dan is a hundred percent renewable.


It is a hundred percent sustainable.

It generates actually more energy than the building users because they designed it well, they have natural daylighting. They have geothermal heating systems and they have solar. And the fascinating one other fascinating thing it's in Seattle, which has the least amount of sun of any of the 48 contiguous States. Right?

So it's the, it's a place with the least amount of sun. They told Dennis, he couldn't do it. It was impossible. Maybe a two story building, not the six story building, maybe a couple thousand square feet, not 50,000 square feet.

And yet it got done.

And it's those kinds of examples, every living from a residential. So we're talking to some folks, there's another individual. We'll be, we'll have those, an interviewee who has a little place in a little quarter acre in Virginia, right in Arlington Virginia.

So in a little littles, tiny space in Arlington Virginia, and yet there a hundred percent clean energy too. And not only are they sustainable with solar and heat pumps and electric vehicles, but they pay $34 a month for their heating, air conditioning, electricity and transportation bills, not bad.

So what can people do everything from a little step? It depends on where they're starting from to the largest steps of going solar and looking at the heating and cooling systems and looking at electric vehicles.

And we're going to be talking about all those technologies and all those opportunities, and then helping people customize solutions to their particular needs.

Does that help?

Yeah, because like, I'm just picturing myself standing. Like, I, it is so hard for me to buy a light bulb anymore. I stand in the aisles. I look in the I'm like, which one is it? They're all so ridiculously expensive, it seems. Although they probably last longer. And just, if I have that question about a light bulb, I can't even imagine it.

And like my brother got solar panels. Gosh, was it last summer? I can't remember when they finally got them, but like for years he was like, no, no, no. And then I don't know somebody came and knocked on their door and probably offered him a tax credit that he had to get there before the end of the year. And so I think that probably ended up having something to do with it,

but yeah, it just makes no sense to me why our country is still like not leading the war. I was like my biggest disappointment with Obama. I just that and what was the other one that he let the protestors in South Dakota get just, you know, he didn't stand up for the protesters in South Dakota, the water protectors.

But also I just was like, didn't they give you a Nobel prize. Cause you were going to go lead the world. And like, he should have been leading our country in green energy. And I know Congress didn't necessarily support him, but like, I dunno, like, I guess we need more podcasts like yours out there offering people simple solutions that they could do.

I'm sure my listeners are dreaming about the day. They could have a zero neutral house.

Like we would love to have a zero neutral house. And especially with like all these extreme storms, knocking out the power for, you know, our power was knocked out for a whole day, practically the spring, like over eight hours, we didn't have power and just, you know, think of the food that's going bad and things like that.


Yeah, no, you're exactly right Jackie, and you know, a few different things that you touched on. So one, there's a, there's a quote. I was a community organizer who was where I started my career, was working with people in communities and helping to empower them. And it wound up being on energy.

And that's where I came to realize that energy and clean energy was my thing, energy and the environment.

But one of the quotes that I thought was really powerful is

when the people lead, the leaders will follow.

So if we expect our national international local, whatever leaders to do something, it's when the people stand up and say, this is what we want:

  • This is where we need to be.
  • This is how we want to get there.

That will then start creating the solution.

So I think it's really powerful and awesome and incredible that folks like you and everybody wants to do this and starts to do it in whatever little way, shape or fashion we can. And the goal of awesome earth kind is to help people become empowered, become enlightened, to know what they can do and to then take that next step for themselves.

So let's talk about solar for a second, right? So it used to be that people thought solar and they still think that solar is really expensive.

It's too expensive for me that I can't afford it.

That it's, you know, I don't have the cash. I don't have the capital, et cetera, et cetera. And you know, in some ways that could be true.

The fascinating thing though, is that solar prices have come down so dramatically in the last 10 years in particular as the world has reached these technological innovations.

And when you take a look at the technology, I'll just talk about one of the, one of our...